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How To Let the Boy Scouts of America Know That You Don't Support Discrimination

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Boy Scouts

Boy Scout Badge

Image (c) J-W Brown

Long beloved by boys across the country, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) enforces policies forbidding gay scouts and troop leaders from joining the organization!

This discrimination is written into BSA policy which states, "Boy Scouts of America believes that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the obligations in the Scout Oath and Scout Law to be morally straight and clean..."

The right to discriminate was upheld in a Supreme Court case which found that as a private organization, the BSA could limit their membership as they saw fit.

It is important for the BSA to hear that this is unacceptable.

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 2 hours to a few days

Here's How:

  1. Put the word out. Tell friends and family that you are planning on making your voice heard on the issue of the BSA's anti-gay discrimination. Try to get a group of people who feel similarly to jointly make a statement.

  2. Contact your and ask if they enforce the anti-gay policy.

  3. If the local troop is opposed to the policy ask the troop leader to write a letter expressing his views to the national office. You can also suggest he publicly make an open invitation to the gay community to become involved in the troop.

  4. If the local troop supports the anti-gay policy you can include them on any correspondence with the national organization.

  5. Put your thoughts in writing. Say that you are opposed to the BSA's discriminatory practice and that you will not be supporting the BSA until the anti-gay policy is revised.

    Explain that you will instead support organizations that serve youth without discrimination. Some good ones are the Girls Scouts of America, the YMCA, YWCA, 4H, and Campfire.

  6. Wait, don't send the letter yet!

    Make sure that it:

    • Asks for a reply
    • Provides your contact information
    • Has been proofread for spelling and grammar

    Remember to keep a copy for yourself. You might also want to copy, or cc, the letter to organizations that support the local scout troop, your school board, and City Council members.

Tips:

  1. Don't contact the Girl Scouts of America to complain about this policy. They do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

  2. Get some information about your local scout troop. Bone up on local news that might be relevant.

  3. Check out the organization Scouting for All and read their brochure End Discrimination in the Boy Scouts of America.

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